GFWC - New York

Main Page


Community Service Programs

GFWC Advancement Guides

Districts & Clubs




Updated News


Special Projects

Dates & Events


GFWC National

Contact Us

Community Service Programs

(For more complete Information go to


                  Art is essential to the quality of life! The GFWC Arts Community Service Program encourages members to promote and support arts activities in all communities. It is designed to inspire clubwomen to engage the creative ambiance within their lives. Create programs and projects that include music, dance, drama, theatre, and other arts-related areas, both traditional and innovative. The artistic experience can be outward reaching or for inner satisfaction. In other words, create an artistic experience that involves all programs and projects.
                  There are countless ways to incorporate art activities. Consider inviting local musicians to club meetings; donating tickets to local performances; planning a trip to local galleries, exhibits, or festivals; and volunteering as a group at local arts venues. Below is a comprehensive list of ideas on how clubs may support the Arts Community Service Program.

            American Mural Project:  The American Mural Project is an organization focused on creating the largest collaborative piece of indoor artwork in the world, a celebration of American ingenuity, productivity, and commitment to work.

                  Our natural resources are among our most precious treasures. The GFWC Conservation Community Service Program is designed for members to gain an appreciation for our environment. Through preservation, maintenance, and restoration of our natural resources, it strives to educate members about the importance of beautifying our communities; preserving, maintaining, and restoring natural resources; and stimulating citizen action to address these concerns. Our natural resources include, but are not limited to, water, trees, plants, air, land, and wildlife.

                  For more than a century, education has been a cornerstone of GFWC beliefs and practices. In fact, Jane Cunningham Croly formed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs “to support clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, health care, scholarships and other reforms.” The GFWC Education Community Service Program works to improve literacy and education awareness in communities at home and around the world.                  i
                  Clubwomen are dedicated to promoting a commitment to literacy and lifelong learning by:
•  Encouraging members and others to foster and support educational opportunities for all ages in their communities.
•  Promoting and supporting Epsilon Sigma Omicron, an honorary educational society open to all per capita paying GFWC members that provides clubwomen with a structured reading program for self-enrichment and personal growth.
•  Educating members and others on ways to improve low adult and youth literacy rates.
•  Supporting libraries in their efforts to provide information and materials and educational opportunities.
            Epsilon Sigma Omicron:
                  Epsilon Sigma Omicron is an honorary educational society open to all per-capita paying GFWC members. ESO provides clubwomen with a structured reading program that is educational and stimulates a desire for self-improvement. ESO materials are available online at

            American Library Association |

                  The GFWC Home Life Community Service Program is designed to inform members of issues that affect the well-being of individuals, families, and communities by providing opportunities and resources to meet and address needs through volunteering. Through this program, clubs may develop and implement creative projects that promote a healthy lifestyle; increase awareness, prevention, research, and treatment of disease; target personal development; address the issues of hunger, inadequate housing, and homelessness; and/or prevent or correct financial difficulties.

            Canine Companions:  Canine Companions is the oldest and largest assistance dog program providing trained dogs for children, adults, and veterans with physical disabilities. Founded in 1975, they’re leaders in the field and have placed over 3,700 assistance dogs. Canine Companions breeds and trains their own dogs to get the temperament, intelligence, focus, health, and work ethic needed. Their breeding program is highly regarded and looked at by others for best practices. At eight weeks old, puppies are placed with volunteer puppy raisers who raise the puppies for 15 months, teaching basic obedience commands and socialization skills. Then they return the dog to Canine Companions for six months of professional training to learn the 40+ commands they need to know to do tasks for people with disabilities.
             Wounded Veteran’s Initiative:  GFWC is working with Canine Companions for Independence on its Wounded Veteran’s Initiative. CCI has provided many assistance dogs to injured service men and women who are returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For a veteran making a new start putting his or her life back together from an injury, an assistance dog can provide the help they need to regain independence.
            Easter Seals:  Easter Seals provides services to ensure that all persons with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play. Easter Seals assists more than one million children and adults with disabilities and their families annually through a nationwide network of more than 550 service centers. Each center provides top quality, family- focused, and innovative services tailored to meet the specific needs of the community it serves.
            Inside Knowledge: Get the facts about Gynecologic Cancer Campaign:  The Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer campaign educates women and health care providers about the five most common types of gynecologic cancer: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. This initiative was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supports the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act of 2005, or Johanna’s Law, passed unanimously by Congress in 2006, and signed into law in 2007.
                  Gynecologic cancer is any cancer that starts in a woman’s reproductive organs. Each year in the United States, about 71,500 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer and approximately 26,500 women die from one. Each gynecologic cancer is unique and has different signs, symptoms, risk factors, and prevention strategies. Inside Knowledge offers information and resources in English and Spanish to women and health care providers about risk factors, symptoms, and prevention strategies associated with each of the cancers.
            National Osteoporosis Foundation:
                  The National Osteoporosis Foundation is the leading consumer and community-focused health organization dedicated to the prevention of osteoporosis and broken bones, the promotion of strong bones for life and the reduction of human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy, and research.

                  In a world where half of the population—over three billion people— lives on less than $2.50 a day, and 21,000 children die each day due to poverty, GFWC encourages clubs to reach beyond their own communities and consider how they can make a global impact.
The GFWC International Outreach Community Service Program is designed to enable members to become better world citizens through advocacy, education, and action, which will, in turn, affect change in and for our global friends and their communities.
Heifer International:  For more than 65 years, Heifer International has provided gifts of livestock and environmentally-sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Since 1944, Heifer has helped 15 million families in more than 125 countries through training in livestock development and livestock gifts that multiply.

Operation Smile:  At Operation Smile, medical volunteers provide safe, effective, and free cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgery for children born all over the world. It is an international medical humanitarian organization dedicated to raising awareness of this life-threatening issue and providing lasting solutions that will allow children to be healed, regardless of financial standing, well into the future. Operation Smile’s free surgeries and medical missions are made possible by the thousands of volunteers and donors, throughout the world, who generously contribute time, talent and resources to the cause.

United Nations Foundation, Shot@Life:  We all treasure our children’s first moments—their first birthday, first word, first step. Yet millions of children miss out on these moments because they don’t have access to the vaccines they need. Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation’s campaign, seeks to educate, connect, and empower Americans to champion vaccines in order to save children in developing countries. Every 20 seconds, a child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, and polio. You can help save a child’s life by encouraging, learning about, advocating for, and donating vaccines.

U.S. Fund for UNICEF:  For more than six decades, GFWC has supported UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, in its efforts to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children have access to health, and immunization, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief, and more.  Clubs are invited to work with the UNICEF’s Healthy Villages Program and Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

                  The GFWC Public Issues Community Service Program is designed to actively connect members with effective projects and activities relating to civic engagement. This program focuses on the following areas:
•  Educate club members and local communities on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
•  Use resources, including GFWC Resolutions, to increase patriotism, pride in heritage, and active community involvement.
•  Encourage active involvement in issues that affect the world around you.
Veterans Affairs
•  Educate club members and local communities on needs of military families.
•  Advocate for legislation that supports active and veteran military personnel and their families.
•  Support military personnel and veterans returning to community living.
Emergency Preparedness
•  Educate club members and local communities on disaster readiness, recovery, and relief.
•  Work with law enforcement agencies and first responders to increase public awareness.
•  Develop community programs and coalitions to address disaster recovery and relief.
•  Educate club members and local communities on home, road, and Internet safety.
•  Provide programs, tools, and training.
•  Create safer homes and communities through awareness.

Kettering Foundation:
                  The Kettering Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research organization rooted in the American tradition of cooperative research. Everything Kettering researches relates to one central question: what does it take for democracy to work as it should? Or put another way: What does it take for citizens to shape their collective future?
                  The foundation explores ways that key political practices can be strengthened through innovations that emphasize active roles for citizens. Kettering’s research is distinctive because it is conducted from the perspective of citizens and focuses on what people collectively can do to address problems affecting their lives, their community, and their nation.
                  The foundation seeks to identify and address the challenges to making democracy work as it should through interrelated program areas that focus on citizens, communities, and institutions. But Kettering doesn’t study communities, schools, professions, or institutions like governments or colleges and universities. Instead, they study how all of these relate to citizens trying to make a difference in shaping their common future.
National Issues Forums:
                  As a partner in the National Issues Forums, Kettering engages with other civic, educational, and professional groups, organizations, and individuals to promote nonpartisan public deliberation in communities across the country.
                  GFWC and Kettering are working on an issue booklet, entitled Bridging and Bonding: How Can We Create Engaged Communities in a Time of Rapid Change? This endeavor is similar to the Which Way Forward for Women? issues booklet produced by GFWC and the Kettering Foundation in the mid-1990s. We anticipate this new booklet to be completed in the fall, 2012.

Sew Much Comfort:
                  Sew Much Comfort provides adaptive clothing to support the unique needs of our wounded service personnel members, including all branches of the military and national guard. Unfortunately, standard clothing does not properly fit with fixators, prosthetics, and casts. For many, a hospital gown is the only option. SMC adapts store-bought or sewn clothing using our custom-designed patterns. The clothing is designed to appear as normal civilian clothing, and is constructed for ease of dressing, fostering self-care. Most of all, it is a symbol of gratitude for their sacrifice. Sew Much Comfort is the only organization providing adaptive clothing at no cost to our wounded service members.

United Service Organizations (USO):
            Millions of times each year at hundreds of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations, and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress, and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO. The following are some of the programs and ways you can support the USO:  Operation Phone Home, USO2GO, Sesame Street/ USO Experience, USO Warrior and Family Centers, and USO Centers.


            GFWC is a national leader in the fight to end domestic violence by raising awareness about this social issue. By supporting existing activities, working with various established programs, and initiating educational opportunities for club members and local citizens, the goal of the GFWC Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention is to increase awareness and prevention of the widespread occurrence of domestic abuse in communities across the nation.
GFWC members will speak with one voice:
•  In the effort to develop and influence federal and state legislation that positively affects the lives of domestic violence victims and their families.
•  To protect the safety, security, and dignity of older citizens.
•  To promote fundraisers which provide a positive and constructive solution to victims of abuse through the GFWC Scholarship program.
•  To promote projects that support and cultivate work with national and local domestic violence and abuse organizations.
•  With GFWC Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Program partners.

            Prevent Child Abuse America:  Since 1972, Prevent Child Abuse America has led the way in building awareness, providing education, and inspiring hope to everyone involved in the effort to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.
Prevent Child Abuse America is the leading national, not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is “to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.” Prevention is defined as the abuse or neglect never occurring. The Prevent Child Abuse America national office is located in Chicago, Illinois, and its network includes 47 statewide prevention chapters.
Every day can be a call to action and an opportunity to recognize that we all play a role in children’s lives, healthy child development, and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
•  Learn more about child abuse prevention and become a messenger for this cause
•  Lend your voice to bring about change for children in the United States through our Pinwheels for Prevention® campaign and affect the policies that impact children and the communities they live in
•  Volunteer your time and talent to our local chapter network to help all of us meet our mission to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children
•  Host a House Party in your neighborhood to raise awareness and funds.
Pinwheels for Prevention®:  Prevent Child Abuse America is implementing Pinwheels for Prevention®, a national campaign introducing the pinwheel as the symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention in the United States. With more than 1.3 million pinwheels distributed since April 2008, we invite GFWC members to help continue this growth.
House Party Weekend®:  Throughout the year, supporters across our nation will gather in homes, restaurants, clubs, campuses and places of worship to have fun and take action for children. The House Party Weekend is an opportunity for thousands of people across the nation to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is an essential building block for community and economic development—whoever and wherever we are.
  Chapter Development:  Prevent Child Abuse America strives to have a chapter in every state. To accomplish this, Prevent Child Abuse America needs your assistance. Making local connections through GFWC clubs will assist Prevent Child Abuse America in establishing a chapter in every state so that all children have an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. For more information, including your state chapter contact, go to


                  The GFWC Juniors’ Special Project: Advocates for Children is designed to enable all GFWC clubs to educate, advocate, and engage in projects concerning the well-being of children via health, social, and safety programs. GFWC Juniors have designed a special project, Advocates for Children, which encourages all clubwomen, to become active advocates for children by working to:
•  Ensure children are protected from harmful situations
•  Encourage healthy physical and emotional lifestyles
•  Increase GFWC members’ awareness of important issues
•  Impact policy to improve children’s lives.

            Emergency Medical Services For Children:  The Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center was established in 1991 to help improve the pediatric emergency care infrastructure throughout the United States and its territories. Since its inception, $140 million in grants have enabled the formation of state EMSC advisory committees, development of pediatric specific EMS protocols, and other clinical resources. They have assisted states in the assessment and identification of gaps in pediatric emergency care and development and implementation of strategies to improve the state EMS systems for children.
                  GFWC will assist in improving pediatric emergency care throughout the U.S. and its territories by contacting local State EMSC Coordinators and determining the gaps in their particular pediatric emergency care systems.

                  INMED Partnerships for Children:  INMED Partnerships for Children rescues children from the immediate and irreversible harm of disease, hunger, abuse, neglect, or violence, and prepares them to shape a brighter future for themselves and the next generation. Through this partnership, clubwomen have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children in Latin America, the Caribbean, southern Africa, northern Virginia and Compton, California. Established in 1986, INMED has rescued millions of children through sustainable programs that engage vulnerable communities to create positive, lasting change.
                  INMED’s Face the Challenge Campaign was created specifically for GFWC members to help rescue children who are suffering now, and build strong leaders for the future. The campaign has five specific challenges:
•  Infectious and Chronic Disease
•  Mother and Child Health
•  Nutrition and Food Security
•  Instability and Displacement
•  Education

2012-2014 (updated 9/18/2012)



Program Chairman

Jane Lemak
1869 Carhart Ave.
Peekskill, NY 10566

PartnershipJane Lemak
1869 Carhart Ave.
Peekskill, NY 10566


Program Chairman

Karen Amann
65 Sunset Drive
North Salem, NY

PartnershipMary Richards
740 Feura Bush Rd.
Delmar, NY 12054


Program ChairmanLouise Hebbard
PO Box 55
Franklin, NY 13775


Linda Childs

610 Miller Road W.
Westdale, NY 13483

Home Life

Program Chairman Paula Reitz
9 Briar Patch Road
Rochester, NY 14618


Linda DeCruz-Harper

4 Noord Lane

Ballston Lake, NY 12019

International Outreach

Program ChairmanPenny Massey
1872 State Route 69
Camden, NY 13316

PartnershipBernice Hayes
70 Spruce Street
Floral Park, NY 11001

Public Issues

Program Chairman Donna Sherrer
11 Delaware Rd
Bellerose Village, NY 11001


Delores Cianciabella
16 Leanore Dr.
Farmingdale, NY 11735

GFWC Special Projects Chairmen

GFWC Signature Project

Domestic Violence Chairman

Donna Briggs
173 Main St.
Franklin, NY 13775

GFWC Junior Special Project

Advocates for Children Chairman

Ann Marie Byrnes
45 Huron Rd..
Bellerose Village, NY 11001